6 Survival Skills You Should Learn Now
Being able to survive is not just about an end of the world scenario; people break down or get lost every day. Having the skills and knowledge to survive without the comforts we are used to at home can be the difference between making it out or suffering misfortune. These six survival skills should be learned now, before you need them, so you are ready and able when the time comes.
1. Building a Fire
Building a fire requires more than the basic knowledge of tinder, kindling and arranging the wood. Practice building fires in both wet and dry weather and with different types of materials. When you are cold, hungry, ill or scared is not the time to try to master building a fire with wet kindling. Once you have mastered different material types, practice several ways – your Bic might not make it, so knowing how to use a drill or flint and steel is vital to your survival in any situation.
2. Making Primitive Shelters
You are only as strong as your shelter and the supplies you will have on hand will vary. For that reason, learn to make a sturdy, safe shelter out of branches or with a tarp. If your bugout bag includes a shelter, make sure your setup is flawless – practice at home and in real world trials out camping. Once again, become familiar with several different ways so you can adapt to whatever supplies are available to you.
3. Applying First Aid
In virtually every survival scenario, injuries or illness are practically inevitable. Learn how to use every item of your first aid kit before you need them. This is especially true of snake bite kits, bandages and sutures where you need to rely on instinct and practice to help you or your patient survive. Every member of your family should be familiar with at least basic first aid.
4. Safely Foraging
Foraging can be a fun family event on the weekends. Stock up on several foraging books for your region and make sure they have pictures of edibles in all life stages. Then, make outings during every season so you can practice identifying, harvesting and preparing the types of foods you might find in a survival situation. This truly can mean the difference between life and death, so practice frequently and have fun getting to know your surroundings.
5. Hunting and Trapping
Again, this is an area where you may or may not have the gear you need. Learn and practice many ways of getting game. If you always carry paracord, make a point to try out snares and nets to see what works best. This is a great excuse to get out camping and while you are out, set up snares or traps if your local laws allow it. Learning to hunt with both guns and bows can be a fun hobby that nets you the ability to survive no matter what your gear.
Knowing how to survive with shelter, fire and food procurement is essential, but what if you are on the run from someone? An amateur will leave a trail even a child could follow; the prepared survivalist will learn to walk carefully, avoid breaking branches and leave no trace as he travels through all kinds of terrain. If you have a family, make it a fun game of hide and seek to see who can leave the least evidence of their passage.
Lastly, and most importantly, practice having the right state of mind. Survival is as much attitude as it is skills. When you combine practice and skill building with a determined and positive outlook, your odds of survival go up dramatically. Try to have fun while you learn and remember, the more you know now, the better you will do later.